In a rare moment of defeat for Apple, the company announced in 2019 that AirPower, its now infamous wireless charging pad (below), was officially cancelled. Unable to make the 3-in1 charging system work, the company decided to kill the project. But new patent filings suggest Apple hasn't given up on it just yet.
The new filing, titled 'Wireless power system with device movement detection' (catchy), depicts a wireless charging mat that is able to continue charging devices even when they are moved around. It sounds like the on again/off again project is very much on again – could it be heading for our best wireless chargers roundup any time soon?
As spotted by AppleInsider (opens in new tab), the patent filing (opens in new tab) was granted on 29 June this year – and is the most recent hint yet that Apple is still hard at work trying to find a way to make AirPower, well, work.
"In response to the wireless power receiving device being lifted away from one or more coils, the control circuitry causes the inverter circuitry to halt wireless power transmission; and in response to at least one movement of the wireless power receiving device along the charging surface, the control circuitry does not cause the inverter circuitry to halt wireless power transmission," the patent reads. In short: lift the device, and the charging stops; simply move the device, and it doesn't.
Rumours about poor old AirPower have refused to let up since Apple announced it in 2017, and even after the company apparently pulled the plug two years later. Last year Apple leaker Jon Prosser "revealed" that AirPower was coming back, with a slightly tweaked design which saw the charging cable moved to the side of the pad. This was said to be arriving in 2020 which, like many of Prosser's leaks, turned out to be untrue.
Of course, as with all Apple patents, time will tell whether this one will ever see the light of day. AirPower was one of Apple's designs that were way ahead of their time – so ahead, in this case, that the company had to give up. But perhaps charging tech is finally catching up with Apple's vision?
Whether or not a new form of AirPower drops in time for the iPhone 13, it sounds like we're still looking at a worthy successor to the iPhone 12 this year. From incredible display tech to a mind-blowing camera, the next generation of iPhone sounds pretty impressive indeed. That said, the iPhone 12 is no slouch – check out today's best deals below if you want the latest and greatest iPhone experience available today, and be sure to swing by our Apple deals page for more offers.